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Guidance for more walking and cycling in cities

07 December 2012

NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK, has recently published a guidance setting out how people can be encouraged to increase the amount they walk or cycle for travel or recreation purposes.

Higher levels of pyhiscal activity will help meet public health and other goals (for instance, to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions) says NICE in its new guidance.

NICE recommends coordinated action is needed in order to identify and address the barriers that may be discouraging people from walking and cycling more often or at all. These include:

  • Implement town-wide programmes to promote cycling for both transport and recreational purposes. These could include cycle hire schemes, car-free events or days, providing information such as maps and route signing, activities and campaigns that emphasise the benefits of cycling, fun rides, and others.
  • Ensure walking routes are integrated with accessible public transport links to support longer journeys. Signage should give details of the distance and/or walking time, in both directions, between public transport facilities and key destinations.
  • Develop and implement school travel plans that encourage children to walk or cycle all or part of the way to school, including children with limited mobility. Pupils should be involved in the development and implementation of these plans.
  • Ensure walking and cycling are considered alongside other interventions, when working to achieve specific health outcomes in relation to the local population (such as a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes, or the promotion of mental wellbeing).

The guidance is for commissioners, managers and practitioners involved in physical activity promotion or who work in the environment, parks and leisure or transport planning sectors.

For more information and to download the guidance, please visit http://www.nice.org.uk/PH41

Source: Sustrans

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